The origin and evolution of TRiM
The Trauma Risk Management – TRiM system was originally designed for use in the UK military in the late 1990s. It was adopted because evidence suggested that single session Critical Incident Stress Debriefing techniques were problematic.
TRiM is evidence based and conforms to NICE – National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, guidance on suggested responses to traumatic events. Trialled and adopted by a wide range of civilian organisations, particularly the Emergency Services, TRiM has been successfully used after many critical events.
What is TRiM?
Trauma Risk Management – TRiM – is a peer delivered system of risk assessment and ongoing support designed to assist in the management of traumatic events. It is not a clinical intervention, a form of counselling or treatment. It allows peers to understand likely reactions to traumatic incidents and conduct structured risk assessments, aiming to identify people needing early referral to qualified medical support.
Risk assessments are based around identifying common risk factors for the development of traumatic stress; TRiM is highly effective because people are often more comfortable talking to peers in the early period after a critical event. The system is an ongoing method of monitoring and support, not just a single session intervention.
How does it work?
Organisations identify suitable people at various levels of seniority to train as TRiM practitioners. Trauma Risk Management is more effective when embedded in policy and linked to human resources and occupational health strategies.
When notified of an incident, the TRiM manager activates the process. A planning meeting convenes to identify all people involved, understand the incident, its characteristics, and agree a tailored response. Ad hoc responses can have unwelcome consequences. Some people involved in the incident may be invited to take part in a risk assessment. Larger groups may be asked to attend a briefing and given information on the incident and how to manage their own emotional responses. TRiM ensures that there is a coherent, considered approach to the organisation’s response and that management and supporting departments are involved.
TRiM Risk Assessment
TRiM risk assessments can be delivered one to one or in small groups. TRiM practitioners guide the interviewee in a supportive and informal way through a structured process designed to identify risk factors. The practitioner provides advice on coping and the support mechanisms available. People who are struggling can be referred to professional help.
For the next month, normal management, mentoring and support should be in place. At the one-month point, the TRiM practitioner conducts a second risk assessment to assess how the person is coping. Research shows that four to six weeks after a traumatic event most people begin to recover and access coping strategies. Those not doing well are identified and where necessary are referred for specialist support. Further mentoring and management continues.
Trauma Risk Management has benefits both to the organisation and its people:
- Early identification and intervention for people in difficulty
- Better management and support structures
- Enhanced oversight by management
- Improved staff confidence
- Stigma reduction around mental health
- Demonstration of legal compliance – health and safety
Strongmind courses are fully accredited by the Continuous Professional Development Standards Office. Delegates may use the hours of training on our courses to count against any mandated or voluntary CPD requirement from professional bodies. The available accreditation points can be supplied on request. CPD research confirms that for anyone hoping to get promoted, or wanting to specialise in a different area, demonstrating their learning agility and dedication to CPD can make a substantive difference.
TRiM refresher training
At Strongmind we recommend annual CPD refresher training around TRiM and associated mental health training. Skill fade can be an issue with TRiM and we offer one-day refresher training as required by the client, this can usually be arranged at short notice where live risk assessments are to follow. CPD accreditation is unaffected.
Location of training
Strongmind operates across the UK and has a highly flexible approach. We are very happy to deliver training at the clients selected location and we can usually respond quite rapidly to requests.
‘I have attended lots of courses in the past about supporting staff but this has to have been one of the best courses I have ever done. I am keen to use it in my working environment’
– Consultant, Accident and Emergency Department, West Sussex NHS Trust.
‘This training could be a game changer for staff welfare’
– Senior Prison Officer – HMP Hull.